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"Lenten sacrifice"

The last few days, life has been weighing on me like a ton of bricks. I’ve been somewhat of an emotional wreck.I’m feeling as if I am falling short..in every avenue.


I have become accustomed to the weight of the world pushing down on my shoulders like a spring about to be sprung at anytime. This I am used to but  kept telling myself..”I” can do this. It’s only  for a few more months. I can hold it together.If the Big Guy can go away to support his family, leave his home and his children..I can do this. I am afforded the luxury of staying in my own home with our little family by my side. Sure the silence after they go to bed is deafening and sometimes heartbreaking, but it is the least I can do.I owe it to ‘Us’ to be able to do this.Of course, I have my occasional breakdowns and find myself having a nice long, ugly cry over some seemingly innocuous incident. But then I move on and I am free of the pressure for a little while.


But I forgot about one vital piece of information…them. More important than can I do this, can they do this.


Bella had a terrible time last year when this all began.She had to leave her preschool with all her friends, her teacher, her life.Then when the Big Guy had to leave this past spring again, she was a wreck.He had to leave the day before her 5th birthday. An angry, displaced, overwhelmed little basket of nerves. I understood. I gave her some time and space. I was there with hugs and consolation. I was there overflowing with understanding and love.Always standing by with love. I never want them to feel a lack of love because of the lack of people around to give it. It broke my heart to watch her have to go through this at such a young age. To feel such misery and discombobulation is awful for anyone to experience. Eventually, the anger subsided. She grew up..too much and too fast because she was forced to accept the situation and learn to live with it.This breaks my heart to know that she has lost some of her innocence about the world because of money. I hate to see my children want for anything, especially when it is their Daddy, whom they really do hang the moon on.


There was one person who was silent through it all, my Gabs. Gabs is 3 and this situation with the Big Guy having to be gone, for work, has been going on since right around the time she turned 2.She was just a baby, really. So, I never considered how it would affect her. I don’t think I even put her into the equation because she was so small. However now, she is 3 and a half and she has found her voice.She notices everything and she has an opinion.The last 8 months have consisted of me being here with my girls trying to figure it all out, the Big Guy being gone, on his own,alone.It’s been Christmas Fridays and funeral Sunday nights left standing on the stoop, while watching  through tear filled eyes as my girls run down the road waving bye to their Daddy;screaming “I love you” at the top of their lungs. It’s been Sunday nights filled with meltdowns of little girls missing their Daddy. Its been week nights of soothing little broken hearts calling out for their Daddy. It’s been hard all the way around. Lately, Gabs has been acting out.She cries for her Daddy almost nightly and she tells me on a regular basis that she hates me and quite frequently can be heard asking “You hate me, don’t you?” I know that she doesn’t hate me but lately her question has been cutting like a knife through my soul. She wants her Daddy and I am beginning to wonder if she doesn’t think I am punishing her by not being together. Does she think I have control of this situation? In her little mind, does she think I have willingly chosen to keep us all apart?


It’s almost too much for my heart to bear.The rock and the hard place that I am nestled between is this; Bella is finally comfortable in school ( after being yanked out of her school in Virginia last year) and has finally made friends after the alienation episode at the beginning of this semester. I feel like I owe it to her to make life as normal as possible. After all , she is the child and I am her parent so I need to sacrifice to do what is best for her. That has been the plan since we first pulled this nasty trick on her. The Big Guy and I agreed to sacrifice so that the kids could remain in  their home, their city, until the end of the school year..to give them security and stability. It’s been incredibly difficult but it seemed to be what was best.


Now,little Gabs is begging me to move us to be with the Big Guy; crying nightly, angry, confused, melancholy and still so small. What do I do? How do I choose? One scenario I pull Bella out, once again, and she has to start over..yet again. That doesn’t seem fair. But then on the other hand, Gabs only wants to be with her father.Its such a simple request and a luxury that all children ,with two happily married people,should be afforded.But even this simple request, I can’t provide for the little people that I love more than life itself.This weighs heavily on my soul.Am I making the right choice? How can I choose one of my children’s happiness over the other? What are going to be the ramifications of these choices we are making today for our children down the line?Am I damaging my little ones?


So, here I sit alone in the quiet reevaluating every decision that I have made since the beginning of this entire situation.The last 24 hours have been a roller coaster of emotions. It started with goodbye on a Sunday night, the girls started crying and they wore down the armor around my heart.And I haven’t been able to regain my strength and stability, the weight of their little breaking hearts has knocked me off of my feet.Today has been a succession of crying over movies, tv shows, Gabs telling me that she hates me, and a bedtime reading of Love You Forever. I feel like a fragile ball of exposed nerves  roaming free in the world. I am exhausted from the gravity of this whole ordeal. For now, I’ll pull my armor back on and regain my balance, for my girls. But I have to do some very serious soul searching. We think we are giving our children everything they could hope for but in the end, it boils down to what everything is to our children. For my girls, everything is a good night hug from their Daddy. It is priceless. How do I choose who deserves to be happiest? How do I tell one that their needs has to be put aside for the others?

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Black Ohio Mother, Brittany Watts, Faces Felony Charges After Suffering Miscarriage

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In tales from the “what the fuck is going on?” and/ or another episode of “Let’s demonize women for existing,” or “misogyny gone wild” a black mother in Ohio, Brittany Watts, is facing felony charges after suffering a devastating, near fatal miscarriage.

Brittany Watts is facing felony charges for “abuse of a corpse” after suffering a miscarriage at nearly 22 weeks into her pregnancy, on September 22, 2023. Now, her case is headed to trial. The 33-year-old, Watts, is being accused of miscarrying her pregnancy while using the restroom and then flushing the fetal remains down her toilet.  * Newsflash, that’s usually what happens.

According to a GoFundMe page set up to help with mounting legal costs for Watts, “Brittany Watts suffered an agonizing miscarriage in the bathroom of her home in Warren, Ohio on September 22, 2023.

Brittany did nothing to cause her miscarriage. Her doctor had told her that her 21-week pregnancy could not survive, and she would miscarry. When the bleeding and the pain from the impending miscarriage got severe, she did the same thing that many women who miscarry at home do. Brittany went into her bathroom, miscarried into her toilet, and flushed. What happened after that is something that should only happen in Margaret Atwood’s Gilead, and certainly not in the United States of America.

Within hours of Brittany’s admission to the hospital for her life-threatening hemorrhaging, police removed the toilet from Brittany’s home and destroyed it searching for fetal remains. Brittany, a woman with no criminal history, was charged with felony gross abuse of a corpse, even though there is no Ohio law dictating the “proper” disposal method of the remains of a miscarriage. On November 2, Brittany sobbed as she sat in a courtroom listening to police officers describe the details of the most intensely personal moments of her life and then vilify her to the world, all while being recorded by local news media.”

Okay, this is a whole lot of what the actual fuck is going on here. As someone who has suffered a miscarriage (and that is exactly what happens to a woman when she miscarries…she suffers mentally and physically), there are no words to describe the kind of hell a mother endures when she loses her child. This is a deeply personal, painful, and private matter and one in which is difficult to navigate. No one knows what to do in this situation. It happens to you unexpectedly and you try to survive it in the best way you can. Believe me, for the mother, it is almost unbearable.

According to the National Library of Medicine, an estimated 23 million miscarriages occur every year worldwide, translating to 44 pregnancy losses each minute. The pooled risk of miscarriage is 15·3% .  Miscarriages happen to women not because of them, so why does the government and legal system want to punish us for what is already so devastating?

To add insult to such a grievous injury, the Ohio legal system is not only blaming the victim (because that is exactly what any mother who miscarries is) for a medical emergency, a fetus that failed to thrive through no fault of the mother; they are actually bringing women up on felony charges. This is one of the most demented and misogynistic things a society can do.

Watts has gone through one of the most painful and life changing experiences any woman can go through and now she is being demonized and prosecuted for disposing of the biological matter. What the fuck was she supposed to do? Women are not taught proper disposal of our miscarried babies when we watch the movie about menstruation in fifth grade! No one teaches us proper sex education in schools, we are taught abstinence in hushed tones and discouraged from asking any questions. We are told that we are sluts and all kinds of other insults if we dare to even inquire or try to educate ourselves and now, we are even blamed and held legally responsible when our pregnancies miscarry. It’s not bad enough that they list miscarriages on insurance bills as missed abortions and that the government has taken away our right to choose, now, they are actively charging women for being a victim of nature’s cruelest punishment.

I’m tired of men making laws on women’s bodies. Men have no idea what it feels like to live in a woman’s body and to suffer being a female. Because yes, for as much as I love being a woman, our misogynistic society keeps us in shackles and punishes us at will for no reason other than what lies between our legs. We are punished daily, in every aspect of our lives, simply for being born with a vagina.

Women are treated like second class citizens. We constantly have everything we say and do questioned, and that’s when we’re not being completely ignored. W are not even given domain over our own bodies. We are leered at and sexualized at every turn from birth till death. Sex is weaponized against us. Rape is a consequence for existing. We can’t even choose when, where, how or if we want to have children. Do you know what giving birth is like? It is the most painful thing a woman can ever endure. It is so painful that it makes you want to die to escape it.

The act of giving birth is one done out of complete love and sacrifice, and we do it over and over again because of that complete and unconditional love we have for our children. But make no mistake, it is no easy task. It is the most difficult and intense experience any human being can go through.

Imagine choosing that, knowing the full weight of that sacrifice, and choosing it over and over again. Then, imagine losing your pregnancy. The emptiness, the sorrow, the void a mother feels is mind bending. The loss of what might have been, the promise of holding and loving your child is mind breaking. The physical pain, the failure of your body, the failure of your child to thrive…so much loss and all that love with nowhere to go. There is nothing as painful in this world as a full heart and empty arms.

I did not miscarry at home. In fact, my pregnancy was intact. I’m not sure if that would make me more or less of a villain in my miscarriage story. My child no longer had a heartbeat. You don’t know devastation until you’ve heard these words uttered to you. My child, who looked absolutely perfect on an ultrasound, had no heartbeat and my body would not let go of it, so I had to have my pregnancy surgically removed. My other option was that I could have taken a wait and see approach and possibly gone septic and have risked death. It was like going through labor with nothing to show for it in the end but a broken heart. So many women must labor only to go home with empty arms and broken hearts…broken hearts that never heal. I left my child behind at the hospital. My child became biomedical waste. No one asked me what I wanted to do with the remains. I was not offered cremation or burial. There was no counseling offered to me. I simply arrived with a pregnancy and left a mother without a child.

In Watts’ case, the miscarriage happened at home. The fetus’ remains were uncovered by local law enforcement on Sept. 22, per the Warren Police Department, after they removed the toilet from her home and tested it for fetal matter.

Now, Watts faces this felony charge even AFTER a forensic pathologist testified last month that her fetus was not born alive and died before passing through the birth canal; further, he said the fetus ​​was “nonviable because [Watts] had premature ruptured membranes—her water had broken early—and the fetus was too young to be delivered.” Watts’ defense attorney, Tracy Timko, told media last month that her client “learned days before” her miscarriage that this outcome “was inevitable and that the fetus could not survive outside the womb due to gestational age.”

None of this makes sense. None of this vilification of this mother is logical or reasonable. Brittany Watts should not be on trial, Ohio should be on trial for the cruel and unusual punishment of a living, human woman.

What are your thoughts? I am disgusted and flabbergasted but I am not shocked in the least because this is what the world does to women time and time again, throughout history. 

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sterling Virginia, GoRVing, Winnebago, Hyatt Place, Road Trips, Traveling with Kids, Mission BBQ, Abbot's Custard

We’re headed to Cape Hatteras for our end of the summer road trip but tonight we’re in Sterling Virginia. We love to travel and there is nothing like one last getaway before school and routines go back into effect. The sad story of it is that our girls are at the age where they really have no free time throughout the school year for travel.

We still travel but it is always at the expense of something else. For us to get away, they have to miss something. Give up something. Forfeit something. That’s mostly been okay. I think it’s good to teach kids about making choices and letting them know that we can’t always get what we want and most of the things worth having come at a sacrifice, a cost.

This year, the wiggle room for sacrifice is even slimmer.  This year, we have confirmation and we’re planning for travel over breaks and we’re preparing for high school and possibly a move. There are a lot of balls in the air so this trip, the four of us, the calm before the storm that is our day to day lives is so special.

Tomorrow we head over to Reston, Virginia to pick up an RV that we will be driving to Cape Hatteras, NC. Not going to lie, the Outer Banks have been on my travel bucket list for many years. We used to live in North Carolina in our 20’s but we were so busy with work and life, we just never made the time to go. We kept thinking, we can go at any time. We live so close. But before we knew it, we didn’t live there anymore. So we’re all very excited about this opportunity to not only go on an adventure someplace that we’ve always wanted to go but to be able to do it the week before school starts back. One last taste of salty air and ocean breezes before the minutia and obligations take over.

Tonight we find ourselves in Sterling, Virginia a quaint, charming, beautiful city about 40 minutes west of Washington D.C. which just so happens to be one of my happy places. By degree, I am a political scientist and all things about politics and history make me ecstatic. D.C. makes me absolutely giddy with delight.

sterling Virginia, GoRVing, Winnebago, Hyatt Place, Road Trips, Traveling with Kids, Mission BBQ, Abbot's Custard

We pick up the RV in the morning and with a 6-hour drive ahead of us to the Cape, I thought Sterling would be the perfect setting for a relaxing night. I used up some points and we are staying at the Hyatt Place at Dulles. Just like last month, when we stayed at the Hyatt Regency, the service is consistently awesome. After a long day of being trapped in the car, it was a welcome relief to be greeted by friendly faces and a room pristine and stocked with the foam pillows that I requested ( allergies to feather pillows make travel a challenge at times).

sterling Virginia, GoRVing, Winnebago, Hyatt Place, Road Trips, Traveling with Kids, Mission BBQ, Abbot's Custard

The room was a very nice size with a separate sitting area big enough to accommodate all 4 of us on a sectional. We unloaded our belongings and set out to find food. We found Mission BBQ and OMG, am I glad we did. The food was delicious and the staff was awesome. Our server was so helpful with picking out sauces to top our BBQs. There were like 8 choices and he even let us taste test them. His recommendations were spot on by the way. The food was melt in your mouth delicious.

Then, after an hour or so of just relaxing (as God intended vacations to be), we decided to go find something sweet and explore the area. That’s when we found Abbott’s frozen custard located in the cutest little shopping center and fell in love. I had the strawberry cream cheese and chocolate almond and it was divine.

sterling Virginia, GoRVing, Winnebago, Hyatt Place, Road Trips, Traveling with Kids, Mission BBQ, Abbot's Custard

I’m convinced I may need to revisit living in Virginia. I’ve never been to Sterling before but we lived in the Richmond area and we loved it. Sterling feels like Matthews NC and Washington D.C. had a beautiful baby and I want to live here.

It was just supposed to be a stop along the way but I’ve got to say, Sterling Virginia, I think I love you.

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#YesAllWomen, marriage, misogyny, abuse, The Washington Post, women's issues

Oh look, the Washington Post thinks that for women to protect themselves from being victims of violence and rape we should all get married or live with our biological fathers because hey, if we’d all just stop being such cock-teasing whores for one minute and stopped taking lovers and made honest women of ourselves, we’d never have to worry about feeling threatened and “uncomfortable” and all of this #YesAllWomen business could just go away. Coincidentally, once again placing blame on the women for being abused. I mean come on, if the b*tch wasn’t drunk and half-naked, the least she could have done was gotten married and stopped trying to be such an independent woman. That’s how she got herself abused and if she hasn’t gotten herself abused, the dumb broad probably got her kids abused because she decided to date again after leaving the crack-headed, wife beating, meth head she was married to.

It was written by two academics by the names of W. Bradford Wilcox and Robin Fretwell Wilson, whose names aren’t the only thing out of the 19th century: the article looks at a bunch of statistics in regard to violence against women and children, and concludes that “the data show that #yesallwomen would be safer hitched to their baby daddies.” 

Basically, once again, the world (more precisely the Washington Post) has lumped us all into 2 categories; whores and virgins and there is no room for gray, only black and white. The bottom line is that the Washington Post has at least two misogynistic writers who blame all women for being treated like second class citizens. Hell, maybe there’s even a secret woman haters club at the Washington Post that meets once a week and is lobbying for the acceptance of drowning baby girls because really, what the hell’s the point? Because apparently, some people think that men can procreate without women and our pesky uteri. Apart from cooking and cleaning in all of our bare footed glory, women serve no real purpose in the world other than to look pretty and be quiet, right? News flash, women are people too.

Yes, misogyny is alive and well at the Washington Post.

Men are allowed to do as they will and women are supposed to suck it up and just accept their fate. I mean WHY would any woman think that she has the right to happiness after divorce or at all, for that matter? It doesn’t matter whether the man was an abusive jerk who beat her on the regular and had started molesting their children, she is his property and she needs to just accept that and be alone and in fear for the rest of her life. If not, it’s going to be her fault when something bad happens and it will because women are like magnets for bad shit to happen so prepare your daughters.

#YesAllWomen, marriage, misogyny, abuse, The Washington Post, women's issues

Eff it, happiness is overrated anyways plus I hear only men can truly experience happiness, it has something to do with the happiness receptors being located right under the tip of their penis or wait, maybe it has something to do with being an asshole. I can’t remember. What do you expect, I was just some kid whose mother stayed with her husband and I was raised by my biological father but we all still got to experience our fair share of abuse. I guess we were just lucky.

When I was about 8, I begged my mom to leave because even at that young age, I knew that it was wrong. I knew that there had to be something more out there than just accepting your situation. I KNEW that she deserved better. That we all deserved better. But none of us got it. We all got to suffer in silence. Do I think that my life is better because of her sacrifice? NO! Do I think she is happier because of her sacrifice? NO! Did it save her from abuse, pain and humiliation? NO! This is the oldest story in the book. This is fear-mongering and it is about time we stop letting fear keep us quiet. It’s time to get mad; downright pissed off and to stand up against the misogynistic world we live in It all starts with one person willing to say no; to be the change. I’m saying no for all the women who couldn’t or haven’t. NO!

#YesAllWomen, marriage, misogyny, abuse, The Washington Post, women's issues, child abuse

Maybe life would have been better had my mom not been brainwashed into staying in her abusive marriage by a society that taught her that it was better to be miserable and have a husband, better to be abused and let your children get abused than to be alone. Thank God for a society who looks out so deeply for its women folk. No thanks, I’ll take my chances and try to decide for myself what’s best for me and my children. Unless you are living in the same dire situation that some women face every day by being abused and raped by their partners, you have no right to insist that she take it on the chin and just accept it.

Hey Washington Post until you’ve lived in the world with a vagina, why not stop skewing statistics to fit your agenda?

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Earth Footwear, swimsuit season, #EarthFootwear, fashion, crying

The following post is sponsored by Mamavation on behalf of Earth Footwear. #EarthFootwear

It is almost May, so you know what that means? Cute Sandal and cry inducing bathing suit season are in full swing, right now! Honestly, I have been crying in dressing rooms since about mid-February. So to balance out the sheer horror of bathing suit shopping, I reward myself every year with leisurely strolls through the shoe stores perusing sandals. I linger through the aisles, gingerly slipping a variety of sandals on and off ; one by one; loving each pair more than the last. Shoe shopping for me is the complete opposite of bathing suit shopping. It always has been. Swimsuit shopping makes me sob like I lost my best friend ( my abs) and shoes just make me happy.

Feeling down, no problem, head to your nearest shoe store and spend an hour or two trying on shoes. I’m not kidding a cute pair of shoes makes the world feel more beautiful. In my twenties, I even took a job managing a shoe store, just for the discount. Shhh, don’t tell me husband. At one point, I had 300 pairs of shoes. Who was I? Imelda Marcos? It was sort of like letting a crackhead be a drug dealer. I absorbed a great deal of my own product. In the end, I had to quit but my love for shoes remains; as does my hatred for bathing suits.

I am an equal opportunity shoe lover. I love everything from flip-flops to Louboutins. If I can put it on my foot and wear it, I can find an outfit and occasion to make it work. Well, with the exception of those new trendy Minotaur hoof heels. I’d prefer to pass on those.  I was a vegetarian for 10 years and the idea of sticking an animal’s “actual” hoof on my foot for fashion, is just too distasteful to imagine. The point is shoes have never made me cry, unless you count that one pair of 5-inch-heels I wore all over downtown Chicago fro my birthday. Bad idea.

The point is shoes soothe my soul, like chocolate and good wine or a really good bag. So when I was asked to review a pair of Earth Footwear’s Camarra sandals, I have to admit, I was pretty excited to be trying new shoes. You see, Earth Footwear is known for being comfortable. Which, let’s face it, if you are going to be on spring break walking around Disney World all day is a definite plus.

Camarra, Earth Footwear, Summer, Sandals, Review

The comfort is all in the contoured arch-support that works to keep you comfortable all day long. Have you ever tried walking long distances in those super flat Grecian style sandals? I have. They are gorgeous and I own a couple pair, but they are terrible for long walks. By the time you finish your walk, it feels like someone to a baseball bat to the bottoms of your feet but don’t hurt at all if you only wear them for shorts amounts of time. Keep the flat sandals for day trips to the mall.

The Camarras, however, are very comfortable and stylish. Contrasting textures and pops of shimmer combine with gracefully arching lines to create a strappy sandal that feels great all day. So often it feels like you have to sacrifice one for the other. I mean. Come one, you don’ see ant collaborations between Dr. Scholl’s and Louboutin, do you? I really like my Camarras because they are made of quality leather so they look nice and contemporary and the wedge is only an inch and a half, so you can wear it with shorts and jeans or with a cute dress at nighttime.  I got the platinum because I feel it’s versatile with my wardrobe but the Camarra also comes in Slate, if you prefer a darker sandal. I love these sandals because they are contemporary sandals made for real women who live in the real world. When’s a pair of 5-inch heels ever done that for you? I need cute and comfortable and I don’t want to sacrifice one for the other. Do you? We shouldn’t have to, right?

The Spring and Summer 2014 Earth collection starts at just $85 and most of the collection is under $100 and each show features a cushioned footbed for all day comfort with a padded heal area to displace shock, a reinforced arch support to stabilize the foot, and multi-density latex cushioning layer for extra support. Which any mom who has ever spent any amount of time in line at Disney World waiting in line to see a princess can tell you that comfort is everything.

If you’d like to be automatically entered into a monthly shoe giveaway, you can sign up for the Earth eNewsletter here.

You can also connect with Earth Footwear on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and Pinterest to see all their Earth Day Pins; filled with loads of ways to make your family more earth friendly.

What’s your favorite Earth Friendly tip?

 

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The other day I had my ultimate Mommy Moment thus far in my life as a Mommy. We all think our A-Ha Mommy moment hits sometime in those first few seconds of exhausted bliss after birth. We spend hours in labor, we are ready to be a Mommy.The baby finally makes its way into the world and they place him/her on our chest all ooey and gooey and we fall in love. Deep, breathtaking love. We are a Mommy.That’s it, end of story. That’s when we know we have arrived,right?

WRONG! Oh so wrong. I did fall into deep, breathtaking love with each of my girls at the moment they came into the world.Hell, let’s be honest I loved them before they were born.It’s just the way I am built. Not everyone does and that’s OK. I mean, its sort of a shock the way they are thrust into our lives, really. But even with all that giant love oozing out of my heart, not a Mommy Moment does that make. Of course if you have a child you are a mother but what really changed about you, the person? Everything and nothing,all at the same time.It’s not a magic wand that instantaneously makes you a “Mommy” There is no apprenticeship, there is no internship, there is no class that immerses you in the reality of a colicky baby, a dirty house, an exhausted brain, and an equally exhausted body. Even if there was a book that told us the honest to God truth, we’d never believe it. The reality is too spectacular. It’s one of those things you have to live through, like war, death, and your own birth. On the job training is the only way to experience it.

So, back to the Mommy Moment,the exact moment that you KNEW you had evolved from your old self into a Mommy. Was it the moment you conceived? The moment you locked eyes with your newborn? The first time they smiled at you? The first time they called out Mommy and you realized you were the one they were calling out to? The first time you had to stay awake all night checking a sick child’s temperature and didn’t mind? The first time you had to soothe tears and hold your baby so tightly to protect them from the pain of the world? Maybe it was the first time you caught a glimpse of your child’s face and you saw yourself in them? Perhaps, it was the moment that you realized that a world without them would be one in which you would not want to live? Maybe the moment that you realized they hold your entire heart in their tiny little hands? Maybe it was the moment that you had to issue a punishment or say no to them, even though you wanted to just give them everything their heart desired? Was it the moment that you realized that you needed to be there to pick up the pieces when life had let them down? Maybe it was the second that you realized you were capable of murdering any person large or small who directly or indirectly hurt your child, physically, emotionally, on purpose or accidentally?Was it the moment that you realized that seeing the world through their eyes was better than through your own.Possibly the moment that you realized they were your everything and you wouldn’t have it any other way? Or maybe the moment that you realized that  their happiness was more important to you than your own? The moment that you realized how selfless you had become and it didn’t feel like a sacrifice or burden.When did you know in your heart, in your soul, that you were a MOMMY?

For me, I’ve experienced all the  moments from the previous paragraph and hundreds ( maybe thousands) more in the last 5 years. But how I knew I had really become a Mommy.The realization that I had changed and it was about more than breastfeeding, nap times, yoga pants, ponytails, exhaustion and Mommy brain came when I was out with friends on my birthday last month. I was miles away from my children, for the first time ever.I was having a complete blast being  “me”.I wasn’t obsessing over my girls who were at home with their Grandma, eating chocolate and going to parks, zoos, pretty much anything their hearts desired but they were still with me. Unbeknown to me.But it sneaked out like a silent ninja, that Mommy moment of mine.

Right there on the dance floor at a hip city club, I was surrounded by enthusiastic dancing 20 something year olds.You know, like who I was before I had children. Everybody was dancing and the music was bumping.I was with my sister and my best friend dancing,  just happy to be out. You know the feeling. It was like someone let the crazies out of the asylum for the night. Then it happened, two girls, probably in their early twenties were enthusiastically jumping around on the dance floor and they kept bumping into me. I ignored them at first, after all, they were only trying to have fun on a super crowded dance floor.They had no idea what a momentous occasion this was for me. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and it happened. I found myself, whipping around, bending down to make eye contact, pointing with my index finger, and using my seriously stern voice to utter these shameful words, “HEY! You girls better be careful. You are going to knock me down and someone’s going to get hurt!”Then I stood straight up and they both, shocked, looked at me and said “Yes, Ma’am!” Then I realized what I had just done. I went Mommy crazy all over their asses. Then I heard them,like my children, giggling behind me. Probably because they couldn’t believe what had just transpired.Had I really just scolded them all Nanny style at Nacional 27 on a Saturday night in the middle of the dance floor. I don’t blame them.As I heard them giggle, it made me chuckle because 10 years prior it would have been a completely different scenario. I would have turned around, pushed them off me and said something more like,”Watch it, Bitch! ” But not tonight, tonight I was a Mommy and I know that it is not something that I do. It is something that I am at my very core, even when my girls are not by my side; they are always with me in my heart, my thoughts, and ( apparently) my actions. Happy Mothering!

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motherhood, #promisetobaby, johnson and johnson

I’ve been thinking about the beauty of motherhood a lot lately, in every way. It’s been a life changing couple of years. When I started this blog, I was in the thick of motherhood. I couldn’t see the beauty of it at all.

Sure, I saw the miracle in birth and felt the all consuming love that filled my heart with a smile from my daughters but I was right in the middle of it; too exhausted, too overwhelmed to stop and enjoy the little moments. I was too busy just trying to survive and truly believed that motherhood was misery peppered with moments of profound bliss but now I know better. Motherhood gives me so much more than I can ever give them. We give them life but they give us purpose.

The true beauty of motherhood is in the unexpected.

We just welcomed our newborn niece into the world and I’ve had babies on the brain. You know how that works? Ovaries start twitching and your uterus is all whispering, ” if you like it than you should put a baby in it!” Sneaky, baby loving uterus.

Babies are amazing and they smell like apples and pure love and you just want to eat them up and thank God because they leave you so freaking exhausted that you can’t see straight and you just want to cry. If only you had a free moment to do so.

birth, beauty of motherhood, motherhood, newborns, parenting

The beauty of motherhood is that it is always changing.

My daughters are now 6 and 8-years-old and I have to say, I really like them; as people. They are kind, funny, smart, full of personality and wit and I am so proud to have even a very small part to do with that. I’ve made it a point over the past year to try and step back, breathe and be in the moment.

I spent so many years going through the motions; doing what I thought was expected of a “good” mom but it was more like a checklist than enjoying and embracing the beauty of motherhood. It was one more thing that I had to get done to get to the next moment. But what was I rushing towards? The letting go? Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

I know it’s easier said than done but every moment we have with our children may not be magical, but each and every one is a miracle.  One day, I realized it doesn’t matter how perfect the birthday parties are or whether or not they have all the coolest clothes and toys, luxurious vacations and a big house in a fancy neighborhood. None of it matters because at the end of the day, all kids really care about or remember is that you loved them and the time you spent with them.

birth, beauty of motherhood, motherhood, newborns, parenting

The real beauty of motherhood lies within the mistakes and do overs.

I know that my girls are my two favorite people in the world and no matter what sleep I’ve lost, nights out I’ve sacrificed, money or my body that I have lost, it’s all worth it to be loved and have the privilege of loving my little girls. No amount of money, sleep or fun will ever be able to replace the early morning hugs and silly giggles that only a child of your own can bring.

Motherhood changes everything. Motherhood is hard. Motherhood is the realization that you can love deeper and truer than you ever thought possible and then just as quickly realizing that the thing you love most in the world, is walking around free in the world. Your heart is on the loose and you know that any hurt or damage they endure, will be multiplied by infinity in your own heart.

birth, beauty of motherhood, motherhood, newborns, parenting

The beauty of motherhood is the simple gift of loving and being loved so unconditionally that nothing else matters.

Motherhood is glorious in ways that I never knew possible and painful in ways that I never imagined. Motherhood is messy and wonderful. From the moment you know they exist, they will change your life forever. It’s harder than anything you’ve ever done or will ever do because it’s more important than anything else you will ever do.

But we do it willingly because the reward always outweighs the sacrifice and that’s the real truth about motherhood that no one ever tells you. The beauty of motherhood is that it’s blindingly beautiful at times and at other times it takes the breath right out of you.

Your heart won’t know what hit it. Enjoy it. Every single minute of it because it flies by and before you know it, the precious baby who you were wishing to crawl is out the door, dating and driving and all you can do is hold on for dear life as you are forced to let go.

birth, beauty of motherhood, motherhood, newborns, parenting

Beautiful, sweet Delaney, welcome to the world and Kate & Jeff, welcome to this wonderful, crazy club we call parenthood. It’s the best and hardest thing you will ever do and it is worth every single second of sleep lost and tear shed. XOXO

That is the real, true beauty of motherhood.

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mommy blogger, mommy guilt, blogger, parenting, work-at-home

mommy blogger, mommy guilt,working mom, parentingThe first thing I read this morning was a piece by my good friend, Jessica Gottlieb, Which came first the Anxiety Disorder or the Blog? Her post really resonated with me in a lot of ways but the most important takeaway that I had was the realization that I need to live more and blog less. This is nothing new. I have known this for some time now. Hell, I know that I need to back the fuck away from the computer and get out of my head and into my life. I need to unplug and it has never been as evident as it is this summer.

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father's day

father's dayToday is Fathers Day and that means two very special reasons to celebrate; my father and my husband,the father of my precious girls. First, I celebrate my father, without whom, I would not be here. He not only brought me into the world, he taught me that everything in this world worth having is worth working hard and fighting for and that I should never give up no matter how many times I get knocked down. He taught me that dreams are not only possible they are mandatory in order for life to have meaning. My father taught me how to forgive, how to let go and move on. He taught me that love is what we see and what we never will. My daddy taught me that long walks and honest talks can change your world. He taught me to admit my mistakes, to be honest, to love fiercely and live passionately. He taught me that quiet reflection can change you. He showed me that with age, we can all get better. He taught me to speak up and sing out. My father taught me that no sacrifice is too big for a smile on a child’s face and a kind word can change a life. My dad taught me that respect, love and family are the most important things in this world. My father taught me to have faith in God and in myself.

father's day

My husband, made me who I am today, a mother. He taught me that love is everlasting, unwavering and ever growing. My husband is the kind of man who should have had 10 children because he is such an amazing human being, there should be more people in the world like him. The first time I saw my husband look into the eyes of our daughter, I knew he loved her more than everything else in the world, including himself. He comes home from work exhausted and still finds a smile for his girls. He kisses booboos, rubs aching legs, cheers from the stands and quietly gives our girls the strength to know that they can do anything in this world they want to do. Seeing his love for them over the years has made me fall deeper and deeper in love with this man. He is the type of father who shows our daughters through his every word and action that they are the most important people in his world, that they are worthy of all that the world has to offer. My husband has taught our girls to be strong, independent and to go for their dreams; he is ever encouraging and ever supportive. If ever they fall, they know that their daddy will be there to pick them up.

father's day

 

In the little things and the big things, our fathers are the first most important men in our lives. He is the man who will set the bar for all men after him. Thank you honey for setting the bar so high for our little girls. Thank you papi for teaching me what’s important in life. I am so thankful to have two wonderful men in my life to celebrate on Father’s Day.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there who give unconditional love, quality time, love and patience to their children. You deserve to be celebrated.

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explaining racism to a child, grandpa, racism, family, love

Imagine explaining racism to a child when they learned about it for the first time when someone was making fun of their grandfather from another country. Kids are born perfect, accepting and loving. I wish we could just keep them that way forever. But the world comes in and

My daughters are pretty freaking amazing. I know we all think that about our kids but my girls have very big hearts and they are very loving and sweet. Don’t get me wrong, they have their moments when they can be complete terrors but not cleaning their rooms and fighting with one another aside, they are good girls. They both leave me random sticky notes and drawn portraits of the two of us that tell me that they love me and that I am the BEST MOM! Which, let’s be honest is nice to hear every once in a while amid all the heat of the moment, “I hate YOU”s. So, it makes me go full on mama bear if anyone ever hurts them.

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